L is for Lazy characters #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of characters. On my normal blogging days, Monday – parenting, Wednesday – quotes, and Thursday – writing/publishing, I will focus on characteristics. On the other days (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday), I will write about characters from movies, TVs or books.

LToday the letter is L for Lazy Characters.

No, I am not talking about characters who would rather laze around in front of the TV than work. I am talking about authors who are lazy about developing their characters.

You sit down to write a story about a man desolated from a failed marriage who just was fired from the job he held for the past 25 years. If you don’t take the time to learn his history and how he came to be at this place at this point in time, you are either going to have a flat one-dimensional character or will have a lot of re-writing to do as your story develops.

I know that sometimes authors would rather jump right in and start writing the story bumping around in their brain. But if you take the time to develop the character, to get to know the why behind his or her behavior, the character becomes real to the reader. And if you know this character inside and out, your writing job just became easier. You will have less re-writing or editing because you know their actions and behaviors are true to them.

So don’t be lazy. Know the history, the likes and dislikes, the major events in your character’s life and more so that you can write vivid, real people rather than one-dimensional ones that only do as they are told.

If you missed the other days in the A to Z Challenge:

A is for Alice

B is for Belgarath 

C is for Cautious Child

D is for Dana Scully

E is for Enthusiasm (Quote) and Southwestern Eggrolls (Recipe)

F is for Flaky Character 

G is for Gandalf 

H is for Huckleberry Finn

I is for Independence 

J is for Jason Bourne

K is for Kind (Quote)

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4 thoughts on “L is for Lazy characters #AtoZChallenge

  1. sjhigbee says:

    Those of us who plunge in sometimes find that if we hold off and slow down to do extra planning, etc we lose the sparkle that drives the initial story forward. What we then MUST do is ensure in the subsequent edits and redrafts that we fill in those gaps. If we don’t – that’s when it would be fair to label us lazy…

  2. Shonna Slayton says:

    I’m a mix. I start with some background, but don’t have all the backstory up front. Usually I need to get into the story a bit before I fully understand my characters.

    @ShonnaSlayton from
    Author Shonna Slayton: A to Z of the 1800s

  3. C R Ward says:

    I agree! I think it’s important to know the back story to your characters – it helps them come alive on the page.

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